Bhagavad Gita As It Is

The Bhagavad Gītā (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता, IPA: [ˈbʱəɡəʋəd̪ ɡiːˈtɑː], Song of God), also more simply known as Gita, is a sacred Hindu scripture, considered among the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy. The Bhagavad Gita comprises roughly 700 verses, and is a part of the Mahabharata. The teacher of the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna, who is revered by Hindus as a manifestation of God (Parabrahman) itself, and is referred to within as Bhagavan, the Divine One.

The content of the Gita is the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna taking place on the battlefield before the start of the Kurukshetra war. Responding to Arjuna’s confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince and elaborates on different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu theology and also as a practical, self-contained guide to life. During the discourse, Lord Krishna reveals His identity as the Supreme Being Himself (Svayam Bhagavan), blessing Arjuna with an awe-inspiring vision of His divine universal form.

The direct audience to Lord Krishna’s discourse of the Bhagawata Gita included Arjuna (addressee), Sanjay (using Divya Drishti gifted by Rishi Veda Vyasa) and Lord Hanuman (perched atop Arjuna’s chariot) and Barbarika, son of Ghatotghaj who also witnessed the complete 18 days of action at Kurukhsetra.

The Bhagavad Gita is also called Gītopaniṣad, implying its having the status of an Upanishad, i.e. a Vedantic scripture. Since the Gita is drawn from the Mahabharata, it is classified as a Smṛiti text. However, those branches of Hinduism that give it the status of an Upanishad also consider it a śruti or “revealed” text. As it is taken to represent a summary of the Upanishadic teachings, it is also called “the Upanishad of the Upanishads”. Another title is mokṣaśāstra, or “Scripture of Liberation”.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is by his divine grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the version I am reading.

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One Response to Bhagavad Gita As It Is

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